Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

“A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without ever leaving your chair.” – Katrina Mayer

Yosemite's Half Dome, which Nevada Barr wrote about in "High Country."

Yosemite’s Half Dome, which Nevada Barr wrote about in “High Country.” — Photo by Pat Bean

When a Travel Book is Not about Travel

As a person with wanderlust in her soul, I find that on any list – and there are many – of the best travel books, I’ve read almost every one. And if I haven’t, give me a year and I usually will have.

Sara Peretsky's Chicago. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Sara Peretsky’s Chicago. — Photo by Pat Bean

But this avid traveler has also discovered that a travel book isn’t always found on the travel book shelves. Two of my favorite authors, Nevada Barr and Sara Peretsky, write mysteries, which I love to read as much as I do travel books.

Barr’s character, Anna Pigeon, is a park ranger; and each of this author’s books increases my knowledge of one national park or another. Since I visit national parks as often as I can, reading Barr’s books has let me look at such parks as Yosemite, Guadalupe Mountains, Big Bend and Isle Royal through more knowledgeable eyes.

Peretsky’s character, V. I. Warshawski, meanwhile, gives me an insider’s look at Chicago.  What Sara has written about Chicago makes other travel books about the Windy City seem dull in comparison. Thankfully I get to visit Chicago more often than not because I have a son who lives there.

Isn’t it great when you can find two passions, like mine of reading mystery books and traveling,  that fit together so perfectly?

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Canoe Communications http://tinyurl.com/n9wvdx6  I loved this blog quote because it reminded me how connected we are to every living thing on this planet.

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            “I adore Chicago. It is the Pulse of America.” Sarah Bernharndt


I prefer Mother Nature over big cities, but every time I’ve visited Chicago over the years, I’ve always had a great time. –Photo by Pat Bean

“Maybe we can show government how to operate better as a result of better architecture. Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” Frank Lloyd Wright

This photo was taken shortly after exiting the Chicago Museum of Art, which I had spent the afternoon exploring earlier this year during a visit with a son who lives in Chicago.

   “I live and die with the Chicago Cubs.” – Sara Paretsky

Paretsky is the author of the V.I. Warshawski mysteries that are set in Chicago. She’s one of my favorite authors.  I love her tough-gal PI, and her descriptive images of Chicago. Perhaps her books should be displayed in the travel section of a book store and well as in the mystery section.

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 Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” ~Seneca

The Art Institute of Chicago – and Snow

While I tend to hit the backroads and boonies most frequently in my travels so as to satisfy my need for Mother Nature’s sanctuaries, I also enjoy big cities.

That good because I recently spent a week in Chicago. The purpose was to visit my youngest son, Michael, but I also got in a bit of sight-seeing in the Windy City.

My son, knowing that no visit to any big city is complete without a visit to an art museum, set aside a day for us to take in the Chicago institute of Art, which has a great Impressionist collection.

What a great day it was, from being amused by the pair of fierce lions guarding the museum entrance to getting re-acquainted with the works of Van Gogh, even though my favorites, his Starry Night series was not among them.

A snowy early morning view from my son's third-floor Chicago apartment. -- Photo by Pat Bean

It was a great visit, which included a fancy dinner at the top of the John Hancock Building, which came with a foggy night view of the city.  But  I especially enjoyed getting up one morning and looking out my son’s apartment window and seeing snow. This winter has been spent mostly on Texas’ Gulf Coast and snow has not been part of the landscape.

Change, I think, is good for the human soul. At least it feels that way for mine.

 Bean’s Pat: Cats in Paris http://tinyurl.com/7ql84jt Quite an eclectic collection, and I loved them all.

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